Cozying up with Hercules

I absolutely love the snow, especially first thing in the morning when you look out your window to discover the ground covered in perfectly white snow. It reminds me of my childhood, running outside with my sisters to go sledding down our hill or to have snowball fights. Seeing as I live in the city now, the snow doesn't stay perfectly white for long, so you have to catch it early in the morning.

Today was one of those days! Winter storm Hercules... great name huh... hit the city last night and waking up this morning in a winter wonderland was rather enjoyable. In order to prep for the storm I decided that a comforting bowl of soup was in order. So I whipped up a roasted red pepper soup with quinoa salsa.

What you'll need:

4 Roasted Red Bell Peppers, quartered
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, sliced 
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
Salt to Taste
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1/4 Red Onion (small), chopped
1 Avocado, diced
2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
Lime Wedge to serve


Roasted Red Peppers at home- 
To roast the peppers you can either place them in the broiler or you can use tongs and hold the peppers over the stove top open flame. I prefer to use the broiler as it is easier and faster. For the broiler method, turn the broiler on to 375. While the broiler is heating up, quarter the peppers and remove the seeds and pith. Arrange the peppers on the sheet pan with the skins facing up. Place the pan in the oven and let them cook for about 10 min, but keep an eye on them as they are quick to burn. Once they are all lightly charred on the outside, remove from the oven and let cool before handling. Once cooled, use a pairing knife to remove the skins off of the peppers. By removing the skins, it gives the soup a smoother texture and keeps the smokey flavor. 

For the Soup-
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and heat until the onion is translucent (about 6 min). Add the roasted red peppers and stock. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 10 minutes. 

Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and blend till smooth. Reheat after blending and season with salt.

Mix together the quinoa, red onion, avocado, cilantro, tomato and season with salt. To serve, divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with quinoa salsa and a squeeze of lime. 

This soup was derived from the Martha Stewart Meatless Cookbook recipe.